“The next Fourth Turning is due to begin shortly after the new millennium, midway through the Oh-Oh decade. Around the year 2005, a sudden spark will catalyze a Crisis mood. Remnants of the old social order will disintegrate. Political and economic trust will implode. Real hardship will beset the land, with severe distress that could involve questions of class, race, nation and empire. The very survival of the nation will feel at stake. Sometime before the year 2025, America will pass through a great gate in history, commensurate with the American Revolution, Civil War, and twin emergencies of the Great Depression and World War II.” – Strauss & Howe – The Fourth Turning
This Fourth Turning was ignited suddenly in September 2008 as the housing bubble, created by the Federal Reserve and their criminal puppeteer owners on Wall Street, collapsed, revealing the greatest control fraud in world history. A crisis mood was catalyzed as the stock market dropped 50%, unemployment surged to highs not seen since 1981, foreclosures exploded, and captured politicians bailed out the criminal bankers with the tax dollars of the victims.
The mood of the country darkened immediately as average Americans flooded their congressmen’s websites and phone lines with a demand not to bailout the felonious Wall Street banks with $700 billion of TARP. But they ignored their supposed constituents and revealed who they are truly beholden to.
Trust in the political and financial system disintegrated and has further deteriorated as the ruling elite continue to loot and pillage as if the 2008/2009 global financial meltdown never happened. From the perspective of the archaic social order there is no longer a crisis. The recovery narrative, flogged ceaselessly by the crooked establishment and their propaganda fake news corporate media mouthpieces, has convinced millions of willfully ignorant Americans progress is occurring.
Could they be right? Is the Crisis over? Has this Fourth Turning been managed to a successful conclusion by central bankers issuing tens of trillions in debt, politicians spending tens of trillions supplied by taxpayers, bankers rigging financial markets, and consumers leveraging up to maintain their lifestyles? Has the exiting corrupt social order successfully retained their power, control and influence over the masses by manipulating the levers of society and fending off their demise? Have they already won?
This Fourth Turning just passed its ninth anniversary. The Civil War Fourth Turning lasted only five years, but that was because it was accelerated, with an enormous amount of bloodshed crammed into a short time frame. The American Revolution Crisis lasted twenty one years. The Great Depression/World War II Crisis lasted seventeen years. All three prior American Fourth Turnings ended with an all-out decisive war, with clear victors and vanquished.
Based on historical precedent, this Fourth Turning shouldn’t reach its resolution until the mid-2020’s, with a major global conflict on the near term horizon. Those who understand that something wicked this way comes are frustrated by the apparent slowness of the progression. They shouldn’t be too anxious for an acceleration.
Since Strauss & Howe didn’t formulate their generational theory until 1997, this is the first Fourth Turning in which some people understand the dynamics driving the Crisis. Does knowledge about a cycle change the underlying forces propelling history? Has the establishment oligarchy co-opted the crisis mood of the country to avoid its own demise? Or, is this Fourth Turning just proceeding according to the standard morphology along its two decade long test of survival?
I honestly don’t know. This is my first and only Fourth Turning. What I do know is the Crisis began in the time frame predicted by Strauss & Howe. The catalyst was the 2008 financial meltdown created by Wall Street and the Federal Reserve, just as they had done in 1929 to catalyze the previous Fourth Turning. Strauss and Howe documented the four stages of a Fourth Turning.
- A Crisis era begins with a catalyst – a startling event (or sequence of events) that produces a sudden shift in mood.
- Once catalyzed, a society achieves a regeneracy – a new counterentropy that reunifies and reenergizes civic life.
- The regenerated society propels toward a climax – a crucial moment that confirms the death of the old order and birth of the new.
- The climax culminates in a resolution – a triumphant or tragic conclusion that separates the winners from losers, resolves the big public questions, and establishes the new order.
The 2008 global financial meltdown most certainly produced a sudden shift in mood. Average working class Americans saw their retirement savings obliterated for the second time in the space of eight years. Millions lost their jobs and got thrown out of their homes by the Wall Street bankers who perpetrated the greatest financial fraud in world history. The American citizens, who overwhelmingly disapproved of TARP, were disregarded as captured corrupt congressmen handed $700 billion of taxpayer funds to the Wall Street criminals.
The darker shift in mood produced the Tea Party movement and the Occupy Wall Street movement. Both movements were co-opted by the establishment and effectively extinguished as change agents. Over the next seven years a massive debt produced bubble has been blown in stock, bond and real estate markets to benefit only those in the upper echelon of wealth. Wall Street is winning in a blowout over Main Street.
As 2015 morphed into the historic year of vitriol, hate, fake news, Russians, pussy grabbing, and an all-out establishment effort to discredit and defeat Donald Trump – 2016 saw battle lines drawn and combatants armed. The oligarchs used every propaganda trick in their bag. They used their vast limitless wealth to insure the election of their hand-picked candidate – Hillary Clinton. Black Lives Matter terrorists slaughtered policemen in cold blood. Social justice warriors were triggered on campuses across the land, retreating to safe spaces with crayons and coloring books.
Antifa fascists rioted, beat Trump supporters and attempted to shutdown free speech at every opportunity. Violent clashes, provoked by leftists, roiled the country and hardened the resolve of normal people in flyover America. The fake news corporate media produced fake polls showing an overwhelming victory for Clinton. The ruling elite underestimated the anger among the silent majority. Trump won an unlikely victory.
The basket of deplorables and millions of other disillusioned regular people chose the Grey Champion of this Fourth Turning on November 8, 2016. It was possibly the biggest upset in presidential history. The long awaited regeneracy had arrived. Just as the election of FDR marked the regeneracy of the last Fourth Turning, the election of Donald Trump marks the regeneracy moment of this Crisis.
His election has energized the country in positive and negative ways. He has unified factions for and against his agenda. His election has revealed an ingrained establishment (aka swamp creatures) inhabited by politicians of both parties who are intent on sabotaging his presidency. The first ten months of his presidency has been a tumultuous clash between an entrenched establishment and a tweeting, insulting, volatile, unpredictable, rude outsider real estate mogul from NYC.
The mood of the country has clearly darkened as 2017 has progressed. There is no middle ground or compromise. The tension between the two Americas rises with each mass shooting, Russian collusion revelation, exposure of media bias, proof of Hollywood degradation, judicial overreach, Soros funded staged protests, Donna Brazile tell all book and censorship actions by Twitter, Facebook, and other left wing slanted media outlets.
Only 24% of Americans think the country is headed in the right direction, and they are right. With a $20 trillion national debt, $200 trillion of unfunded welfare liabilities, pension plans underfunded by hundreds of billions, rampant governmental corruption, blatant Wall Street criminality, undeclared wars being waged across the globe, and a feeble minded corporate propaganda media spewing fake news, the nation has already hit the iceberg and the ship is going down.
The level of divisiveness and anger in this country grows exponentially, with the flames being fanned by the corporate media intent on creating a civil war. Battle lines are being drawn between Republicans and Democrats; the establishment GOP and the Steve Bannon alt-right disciples; far left Sanders Democrats and Clinton partisans; BLM terrorists and police; Soros funded Antifa scum and free speech conservatives; SJW’s and normal people; elites and deplorables; whites and blacks; liberals and conservatives; Wall Street and Main Street; Hollywood deviants and people with morals; Muslims and infidels; those who are awake and those who are ignorant; gun owners and gun confiscators; surveillance state and citizens being surveilled; young and old; haves and have nots; workers and parasites; government union workers and taxpayers; left wing academia and those with common sense; arrogant hubristic oligarchs and humble hard working Americans.
If you can’t comprehend the sense of foreboding engulfing the nation and the globe, you aren’t paying attention. Despite a global recovery narrative and record high stock markets supercharged by irresponsible debasing schemes implemented by captured central bankers, the world is hurtling relentlessly toward conflict, war and bloodshed. Every previous American Fourth Turning saw an upwards ratchet in violence, death and technological killing devices. This Fourth Turning will see a continuation of this trend. Fourth Turning wars are always decisive, with clear winners and losers.
The Revolutionary War erupted two years after the Boston Tea Party catalyst and lasted for eight years. The Civil War swept the country into conflict shortly after Lincoln’s election. The Second World War didn’t encroach on the lives of Americans until 12 years after the 1929 Great Crash. Each Crisis will have its own dynamics, pace, and timing, based upon specific events, leadership decisions, and generational reactions to the incidents and episodes driving the crisis. We are in year nine of this Fourth Turning and a looming bloody conflict is just over the horizon, but the vast majority of the American populace is unprepared and unaware for such a trial by fire.
The 2008 volcanic eruption has continued to flow along the channels of distress impacting nations across the globe. Yeoman efforts by the Deep State to keep the molten flow within controlled channels are failing, with the eruption about to burst free and cause global havoc on a grand scale, as predicted by Strauss & Howe.
“Imagine some national (and probably global) volcanic eruption, initially flowing along channels of distress that were created during the Unraveling era and further widened by the catalyst. Trying to foresee where the eruption will go once it bursts free of the channels is like trying to predict the exact fault line of an earthquake. All you know in advance is something about the molten ingredients of the climax, which could include the following:
- Economic distress, with public debt in default, entitlement trust funds in bankruptcy, mounting poverty and unemployment, trade wars, collapsing financial markets, and hyperinflation (or deflation)
- Social distress, with violence fueled by class, race, nativism, or religion and abetted by armed gangs, underground militias, and mercenaries hired by walled communities
- Political distress, with institutional collapse, open tax revolts, one-party hegemony, major constitutional change, secessionism, authoritarianism, and altered national borders
- Military distress, with war against terrorists or foreign regimes equipped with weapons of mass destruction”
The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe
The American Revolution military conflict was with an external enemy. The Civil War was an internal conflict between Americans. World War II was again an external conflict. Will the coming conflict be domestic, foreign or both? Every Fourth Turning has internal and external struggles and skirmishes. Loyalists battled patriots during the American Revolution. Both sides attempted to seek European support during the Civil War.
A resolute opposition despised FDR and even sought to organize a military coup to seize power of the government. This Fourth Turning is progressing along a dual path of internal and external clashes destined to define the events which will propel the world towards a climax and resolution of this fourth crisis period in U.S. history.
The apparent slowness of this Fourth Turning is not unusual and the rise in the stock market in the midst of the crisis does not alleviate the dire circumstances of the crisis. From its low in 1932 the stock market rose by over 400% by 1937, in the midst of the Great Depression, before another 45% plunge. The current Fed financed stock market rally has driven stocks up about 400% from the 2009 lows. Stock markets do not define when a crisis has ended for the majority of Americans because so few people own a significant amount of stock.
The average American suffered economic hardship throughout the 1930s, just as average Americans have continued to suffer economic hardship since 2008. As Americans dealt with privation and poverty in the late 1930s the coming global conflict was brewing. Animosities, prejudices and resentments, exacerbated by economic turmoil, stirred militaristic ambitions of hubristic rulers in Europe and Asia. The parallels with the current international dynamic are eerie. The exact timing of the chaotic dangerous portion of this Fourth Turning is uncertain, but it can’t be escaped.
“Don’t think you can escape the Fourth Turning the way you might today distance yourself from news, national politics, or even taxes you don’t feel like paying. History warns that a Crisis will reshape the basic social and economic environment that you now take for granted. The Fourth Turning necessitates the death and rebirth of the social order. It is the ultimate rite of passage for an entire people, requiring a luminal state of sheer chaos whose nature and duration no one can predict in advance.” – Strauss & Howe – The Fourth Turning
In Part 2 of this article I will examine the devolving global environment and the implications on markets and the course of this Fourth Turning.